Two big questions we all face heading into the Nuggets/Hornets series is how healthy is Tyson Chandler and what kind of impact will he have? Chandler himself claims to only be about 70% healthy so what that means we will have to wait and see. Chandler did not play in any of the four contests between the two teams this season, but we can look back to previous matchups to see what his presence means for the Hornets.
I have compiled some clips from game 44 of last season. Chandler had ten points on four for five shooting and 16 rebounds as the Hornets defeated the Carmelo-less Nuggets 117-93 in New Orleans. However, Chandler only had one block and played somewhat passively on the defensive end.
I do my typically sterling job narrating the eight clips, but watch for the timing he and Paul have on the pick and roll. The duo combines to execute on plays where Chandler cuts to the rim immediately, when he makes a delayed cut and even in transition. You have to wonder with Chandler missing so much time if they will still possess that sense of timing and chemistry.
Defensively I thought it was interesting how Chandler was content to watch the action. He moves well and generally is in the right position, but his lack of big shot blocking numbers can be attributed to the fact he is content to let his opponent score largely unchallenged. We see the opposite end of that spectrum in Birdman who launches himself at shots that he has no business attacking, but we have also seen Birdman have a larger impact through forcing altered shots than Chandler does in the clips to follow.
Again these clips are from last season when Chandler was healthy. Who knows how much of this performance he can duplicate. According to Ryan and Niall at Hornets 24/7 Chandler had four throw downs of the pick and roll in the last game against the Spurs. However, if he is feeling any discomfort I would expect him to play ever more passively on defense and hopefully Nene can take advantage of that.
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